The latest box office projections for Solo: A Star Wars Story have the film setting a new Memorial Day record. As of this writing, Solo is only a few weeks away from hitting theaters, finally completing its long, and at times troubling, journey to the big screen. It's no secret the spinoff had one of the more unusual productions in recent memory, with Ron Howard replacing the fired Phil Lord & Chris Miller four months into filming. Of course, that development raised a number of red flags, and it wasn't long until rumors pointed to Solo being a disaster and the first real loss for Lucasfilm in their Disney era.
Fortunately, it looks like reports of Solo's demise were greatly exaggerated. Over the past few months, the studio has pieced together a strong marketing campaign, selling the prequel as an entertaining throwback adventure film that captures the spirit of Star Wars. The trailers and TV spots seem to be getting viewers excited for what's in store, seeing that Solo should rewrite the history books when it premieres later this month.
Related: Solo Officially Rated PG-13
According to Deadline, industry projections have Solo pegged for $170+ million over the 4-day Memorial Day holiday weekend. This would far exceed the all-time record for that window, which is currently held by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End with $139.8 million. Additionally, the outlet's sources say Solo has an unaided tracking score of 28, which is higher than Rogue One and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. That bodes exceptionally well for its commercial prospects.
Should Solo hit that $170 million mark (or even the earlier estimates of $150 million), it would be quite the accomplishment for Lucasfilm. When the film was first announced in 2015, it seemed to be the one Star Wars fans were the least excited for, with many questioning the need for it or if anyone other than Harrison Ford could really do the character justice. Because of the franchise pedigree, it was always expected Solo would perform decently at the box office, but few would have predicted record-breaking numbers in its opening weekend. Considering that Ron Howard's massive reshoots reportedly doubled the production budget, Lucasfilm will gladly take that haul. And if Solo is of high quality, it's all but guaranteed strong legs through the month of June.
Of course, Disney/Lucasfilm always wanted Solo to do well, but this development could have larger ramifications on Star Wars' future. Alden Ehrenreich recently confirmed he signed a three-picture deal with the studio, meaning there are options for Solo sequels. It's not a guarantee followups will happen (and Lucasfilm seems to have a full plate ahead of them), but a definite pre-requisite for a green light is for this summer's film to be a major hit. These figures could fluctuate as we get closer to Solo's premiere, but it's poised to be another big winner for the Mouse House.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019